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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You Just Can't Do It

Christians, you just can't prove, even to yourself, that your experiences of God are anything more than a warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy.

Admit it. You can't do it.


  1. No, they can't.
    But the other evening I was walking in the field across from my house when lo and behold, I looked over and there was Bigfoot sleeping in a patch of alfalfa.

    So I took a straw of alfalfa and snuck up and tickled his nose with it. After a couple times of him swatting away what he thought was a fly or sumthin he woke up and man, was he pissed off. I took off running and he almost caught me before I got inside my house.

    I managed to get a couple pictures of him and I am starting a non- profit organization to investigate this further.

    I will need to go to Bigfoot training camp in the Bahamas for sixteen weeks and, of course I know you will be interested in sponsoring this ever so important endeavor.

    In return for your help I will send you a picture of Bigfoot.

    This is a tax deductable donation.

    Thasnks in advance for your help on this very important matter. /d

  2. dale,

    Don't be fooled. Bigfoot is the antI-Yeti. Your dabbling with pure evil!

    Your money would be better spent attending my Chillier Conference or buying any of my resource materials. "Yeti Tracks" are my brilliantly clever tracts you can pass around to spread the good news. The best part is they're free ($79.99 shipping and handling). Act now or Yeti will kick your ass for eternity.

  3. Dale,

    Big Foot is real. They've found his body and they are having a press conference Friday. So now you have to believe God is real too.

  4. Milo,
    I hope I can obtain possesion of his corpse. I am also studying to become a Haruspex.

    One of my future courses in that discipline will be a twelve week module in Hawaii. I know I can count on you all to help me out with that one too.

  5. Dave,
    I think many Christians would agree with you on that, but so what. Does that invalidate they're feeling? I can't prove to you that a slice of cheesecake if good, certainly if you don't even like it yourself, but that doesn't invalidate the way I feel about it.

    ...Then again, I'm not an advocate of religion as object, but religion as language.

    There too people continually say that a truth is something which can be tested. Is there a test for "GOODNESS"? I like what Pirsig does at the beginning of ZMM when he says:
    "And what is good, Phædrus,
    And what is not good...
    Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

    I guess my point is perhaps that, truth doesn’t always come in the form of data.

  6. Andrew,

    Fair enough. You can construe my OP as being inapplicable to any Christian who views God as a metaphor.

  7. I'd argue "God as Metaphore", as that's relative to perspective. In this way we can say all laguage is metaphorical. How do we know that God does not denote what it's talking about?

    I suppose this all depends on what one means when he used the term God.

    if God is a metaphor, what is he/she/it a metaphore for? Whatever the answer to that is must in fact be what it is we're really talking about. If we don't know the answer, then perhaps it isn't a metaphor afterall.

  8. Let me spin this another way.
    We all know science to be a reductionist enterprise. What I mean by that is something like the following:

    When the sun comes up in the morning the head of a rose and the peddles of the stock raise up towards the sun. As science tells us, this has to do with photosynthesis. There’s nothing mysterious going on at all, no ghost in the machine. In the same way (and I don’t consider this a slippery slope) it’s conceivable that human desire and emotion could be reduced in much the same. In the future, rather then one saying, “I’m very happy.” One may say in a vary socialist way, “My T-fibers are being stimulated.”

    Whatever the internal mechanism, it doesn’t trump the fact that there is an emotion there. Perhaps the rose raises it’s head in the morning because it LIKES to. It may in fact be true the emotion of happy is mere stimulation of the T-fibers (made up of course) but it would still remain as a metaphor for our emotional state. No matter what semantic approach we take, is the emotional state of affairs any different? We may “BELIEVE” that happiness is mere stimulation of T-fibers, but those are just words, and those words represent ideas which are not necessarily true or false, but Good and Bad; useful, or not useful.

  9. Andrew Louis,

    I have done exactly what you were inferring.

    Because the concept of Emotional Intelligence is not taught in the public schools, I made it a point to try and teach my kids the basics.

    We are the same as plants in that when we are stimulated by an emotion (Stimuli) of say anger, blood rushes to our upper torso. We "want" to strike out. But, since we have evolved brains, we do not have to "bend to the light.' We can use our intelligence to avoid situations.

    As you say, there is no "Ghost in the machine," but we get to make informed decisions on how we will react to these stimuli.

  10. This is why, in some ways, we are an apex of evolution, the first species to realise how we got here, why we are the way we are, and the ability to choose to act against our evolved instincts.

    And the possibility of controlling and driving our future evolution as a species.

    It's very cool.


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